"It's Like Riding a Bike."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A teaser: This post will include A) one of the least attractive photos of me ever taken, and B) one of my most shameful stories to date.

I want a bike. In fact, I want a bike so badly that I check Craigslist at least four times a week in the hopes that someone will be selling one within my price range. No dice.

One of my friends (the one I discovered The Cookie Diet with) is in St. Louis for the weekend. In her absence, I was granted temporary possession of her bicycle, which was locked up at our office. Yesterday, as I headed out to dinner at Cafe Luna for a girls' night (refer back to yesterday's post about my favorite typo ever), I realized I had the blessed option of riding "my" bike there. Enthusiasm abounded.

I walked it to dinner because a friend joined me for the trek, but I was beyond jazzed about the prospect of riding home afterward. Unsurprisingly, a few factors quickly brought my usual nerves to full attention:
  • A sideways-raining thunderstorm queued up halfway through dinner, soaking the city.
  • I was reminded that there are no bike lanes on Connecticut Avenue, greatly increasing my chances of being mowed down by a vehicle.
Needless to say, I began to think of all the many ways I could die a painful bike-related death on the two-mile ride home:

Post-meal, my about-to-bike-ride situation went down as follows, as a crowd of guys looked on in disdain & my friends laughed at, not with, me:
  • I could not get the bike unlocked.
  • Once unlocked, I could not figure out what to do with the lock while I rode.
  • Once we realized there was a lock-holder, we struggled to get the lock into it, & I ultimately threw it in my purse.
  • As I tried to hop on, I discovered the seat was so high that I couldn't keep my balance.
  • I struggled to readjust the seat, deferring to my friend Jill, who handy(wo)manned it into a manageable height.
  • Once on the bike, I could not get my feet in the pedal straps, resulting in much unsteadiness.
  • Once I really made it on, I promptly tumbled onto a parked Vespa & damaged whatever dignity I'd held onto.
  • And once I actually made it on & got moving, I was too scared to ride in the road, thus pissing off people on the sidewalks.
Three blocks in, I bailed, walking the bike back to work & hopping on the Metro. Needless to say, that old cliche is wildly false. I am 24 years old. And I can no longer ride a bike.


  1. It's not that you've forgotten how -- it's that you're rusty. Perhaps even extraordinarily super rusty. You just need to find a time -- early morning, perhaps? -- to take the bike down a quiet street without having to worry about pedestrians/automobiles/police ticketing you for riding on the sidewalk.

  2. I tried to ride my bike to work once last year and just about got myself killed.. I haven't done it since lol. I guess we're just not as skilled as we were when we were 12 :)

  3. at least you found all this out before making the bike purchase, eh?

  4. LOL! I agree with Deutlich. Also I think the picture is adorable of you.

  5. I want to get a bike SO badly. But someone I know won't let me get one without also getting a helmet. And that's just crazy.

  6. I can't deal with pedal straps. Do you want to try my bike? I was going to sell it when I got home for $150, I don't know if that's in your price range. I got it for $600. You can try it out if you can make it to Bowie - I can have the woman renting our place show it to you. It's small and not overwhelming. You can email me at spleeness (at..) yahoo (dot..) com.

    If that's a bad photo then I don't think you take bad photos! :)

  7. Actually I don't remember now how much it originally cost. It might only have been $350. I might be confusing it with someone else. I may still have the receipt and paperwork at home. Similar bikes were selling for $100-$175 on Craigslist.

    Although you may not be in the mood to ride for a while now!


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